This Stunning Island Off the Coast of Tuscany Has a Cliffside Villa You Can Stay In

La dolce vita, indeed.

Exterior of Forte San Giorgio
Photo: Sam Riva/Courtesy of Forte San Giorgio

Staying at a property steeped in history always adds an extra special element to a vacation. And when that property is on a scenic island off the coast of one of Italy's most stunning regions, you're pretty much guaranteed a memorable — and picture-perfect — stay.

The island we are talking about is Capraia, part of the Tuscan archipelago, and the residence, Forte San Giorgio, an impeccably restored 16th-century fortress.

Sitting atop a cliff on the northeast edge of the island and overlooking the striking blue waters of the Tyrrhenian Sea, the sprawling property blends modern aesthetics with a centuries-old setting. And the result is nothing short of breathtaking.

A terrace at Forte San Giorgio
Sam Riva/Courtesy of Forte San Giorgio
the pool at Forte San Giorgio
Cerruti Draime/Courtesy of Forte San Giorgio
Interior of the dining room at Forte San Giorgio
Cerruti Draime/Courtesy of Forte San Giorgio

The fortress, which is listed as a National Monument of Architectural and Artistic Merit, took more than a decade to restore. The 11-bedroom, 10-bathroom property has three wings organized around a small square or a piazzetta. While most bedrooms are suites, there are also two apartments — one with three bedrooms and another with two. The main living room area of the estate is called Sala Sant'Antonio, an elegant and bright lounge area with beautiful vaulted ceilings, frescoes, and Venetian oak floors.

But if you visit in the summer, you and your guests will probably hang out in the Cortile Centrale, a shady courtyard surrounded by ancient arches and walls that offer stunning sea views. Other highlights of the interior spaces are a gourmet kitchen co-designed by acclaimed chef Riccardo De Pra and an underground entertainment area, which includes a game room, a bar, and a movie theater. Ancient pillars and vaults, a stone altar, and the remains of an old church transform this space into the most unique game room we've ever seen.

Interior of a living room lounge area at Forte San Giorgio
Sam Riva/Courtesy of Forte San Giorgio
Interior of a bedroom at Forte San Giorgio
Sam Riva/Courtesy of Forte San Giorgio

If you prefer to bask in the hot Italian sun, though, there are plenty of spots on-property to do so. With two swimming pools, one of them a stunning infinity-edge pool that overlooks the sea, the Forte San Giorgio is the ultimate luxe summer getaway. Two alfresco dining areas and a poolside bar will certainly make aperitivo hour the highlight of your day.

And finally, four perfectly manicured Mediterranean gardens, including one that provides fresh ingredients for your chef to cook with (yes, that's right, you get your own private chef at the villa), complement this extraordinary vacation property. Just head down the private path below the fortress for a close-up view of the sea (and a refreshing dip).

Ready to book? The weekly rates for Forte San Giorgio start at $21,061 and can reach $60,692 in the high season. The property is available to book via

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